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  1. #101

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    Making a living as a player is currently as much about marketing as it is about playing. While there is not as much studio work as there used to be, and even not as much concert work as there used to be, there is an ever-growing Senior Citizen market that serves very well for those of us who don't have any interest in teaching 10-year-olds the latest power chord anthem, as well as the new and growing House Concert market, and the Library Concert market. Granted, the more styles one can effectively play with conviction and style, the more chances to break into these markets.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    i can see that you are very detail oriented. for example, word choice is something that you zero in on. great, me too.

    with regards to improvising with classical guitar technique - i said "believe" because there is no demonstrable case of an improviser who can blow 5 minute hot solos over Giant Steps for example, with the tone of Julian Bream or David Russell etc, etc. no such person walks the earth. you know it, i know it.

    awkward or tricky or difficult could all be used to describe difficult right hand moves. if there were no such thing then everyone/anyone could play Albeniz like Williams, or Brouwer like Cobo, or Turina and Torroba like Bream etc, etc, etc. But they can't. Neither can you.

    don't get your knickers in a knot. it's not about you.
    Gene Bertoncini

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Paco de Lucia has a ravishing sound, as beautiful as any classical player. His version of the Concierto de Aranjuez lacks nothing tonally, and in amny respects, certainly rhythmically, is far more faithful to the score and the intent of the music than most classical players. He also is a fine improvisor and holds his own with McLaughlin, Dimeola and Corea.
    i disagree 180 degrees. you realize that its not about the player, its about the tecnique right?

    anyway, i've heard him play it. its so far from the sound of a great classical player, its not even funny. you would really want to invite comparison of that to performances by Williams, Bream, Parkening, Romero, Russell? something tells me that you dont listen to nearly enough classical.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Gene Bertoncini
    what about him? he's a nice jazz player. he gigs at chain restaurants sometimes.

    again, you are comparing this playing to that of say... Julian Bream?

    you should really think about giving this up, and go expand your listening experience for awhile.

  6. #105

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    Well, the question is, do you listen to anyone but yourself?

    I studied with Alexandre Lagoya, Oscar Ghiglia and John Williams, as well as Mario Escudero and Paco Pena. I have played in masterclasses with Parkening, Russell, etc. I have been a pro guitarist for 45 years, I have taught classical guitar at New England Conservatory, and I've been on staff at Wesleyan University as flamenco dance accompanist. I can say this: you don't have a clue. You have lots of opinions, but you really don't have very good ears at all. You have a weird bias that closes you off from anything but your very narrow viewpoint. I'll note here that I haven't disparaged Bream's sound, or Williams's sound (both of whom I've "jammed" with one-on-one), merely pointed out that De Lucia's tonal mastery in the Aranjuez is clear to anyone with an open mind. I guess I wasn't addressing you. You should try listening to anyone but yourself some day. Also, your rather stupid, uninformed comment on Gene Bertoncini is indicative of how little you really know about the guitar world beyond your nose.

    By the way, whether you like it or not, it's not about you, either.
    Last edited by ronjazz; 05-18-2011 at 09:49 AM.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Well, the question is, do you listen to anyone but yourself?

    I studied with Alexandre Lagoya, Oscar Ghiglia and John Williams, as well as Mario Escudero and Paco Pena. I have played in masterclasses with Parkening, Russell, etc. I have been a pro guitarist for 45 years, I have taught classical guitar at New England Conservatory, and I've been on staff at Wesleyan University as flamenco dance accompanist. I can say this: you don't have a clue. You have lots of opinions, but you really don't have very good ears at all. You have a weird bias that closes you off from anything but your very narrow viewpoint. I'll note here that I haven't disparaged Bream's sound, or Williams's sound (both of whom I've "jammed" with one-on-one), merely pointed out that De Lucia's tonal mastery in the Aranjuez is clear to anyone with an open mind. I guess I wasn't addressing you. You should try listening to anyone but yourself some day. Also, your rather stupid, uninformed comment on Gene Bertoncini is indicative of how little you really know about the guitar world beyond your nose.

    By the way, whether you like it or not, it's not about you, either.
    well then you certainly have expertise over mine. however, its just your opinion vs. mine that the master flamenco player in question has a tone that is on par with the greatest classical players. you have your ear taste, i have mine.

    and you're right. my point of view on this is indeed narrow. we are talking about human beings after all. people tend to be best at what they do, not at what they don't do. i have never seen evidence that a flamenco player can play classical as well as the world's best classical players, never seen evidence that the world's best classical players can play flamenco as well as the world's best flamenco players (although Pepe is more refined, its more about style), never seen evidence that the world's best rockers can play jazz on par with the world's best jazzers and vice versa. same with pitchers and quarterbacks etc. you get the idea.

    i never said they couldn't function, or even do fairly well. my focus on this point is the very top of the art, that's all. so if you want to listen to Paco play Rodrigo knock yourself out. its a free country.

    and while i partially agree with you regarding the Paco to Johnny Mac and DiMeola comparison, I would not compare his improv skills to those of Corea. that's a tough call for any guitarist. just my opinion.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 05-18-2011 at 08:05 PM.

  8. #107

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    If your focus was truly on the very top of the art, you'd recognize the contradictions in your reasoning. As it is, your focus is on being right, at all costs, including the destruction of your own credibility. As it's useless to reason with you, I will give up, and leave you to your narrow-mindedness, pre-conceived notions and convenient little pigeonholes.

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    If your focus was truly on the very top of the art, you'd recognize the contradictions in your reasoning. As it is, your focus is on being right, at all costs, including the destruction of your own credibility. As it's useless to reason with you, I will give up, and leave you to your narrow-mindedness, pre-conceived notions and convenient little pigeonholes.
    i don't think its useless. i think that i'm a reasonable man. i'm probably too damned particular, tough minded, and intolerant of mediocrity for your preferences. i can live with that. and i totally respect your giving up.

  10. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Paco de Lucia has a ravishing sound, as beautiful as any classical player. His version of the Concierto de Aranjuez lacks nothing tonally, and in many respects, certainly rhythmically, is far more faithful to the score and the intent of the music than most classical players. He also is a fine improvisor and holds his own with McLaughlin, Dimeola and Corea.
    Way to go ronjazz. It's good to see someone agrees with me about this. I kinda gave up this argument before it began. My distinction was about technical mastery of the sound, not personal taste. fumblefingers assertion that Sanlucar's sound is a far cry from a classical guitarists tone is still perplexing to me. If we are to point fingers, then I would have to say that rhythm is pretty poorly developed among classical guitarists.

    I know Paco Pena very well. He's a great guy who has had a tremendous influence on me over the years.
    Last edited by czardas; 05-20-2011 at 04:02 AM.

  11. #110

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    Ralph Towner is excellent. He is highly regarded and has the respect of LOTS of players. ( I think Larry Coryell calls him the best around)

    I don't know why he isn't mentioned more but that seems to be the case for a lot of excellent players. (Especially those players that play their own compositions as opposed to standards.)

    I've noticed this over the years. People tend to go with what they know. Look at Mike Stern. I think his CD "Standards' got way more recognition than CD's of his own compositions. I recall it won jazz guitar album of the year at GP magazine.

    Some other names I don't see mentioned enough here are Earl Klugh and Charlie Byrd. Granted that fingerstye jazz has evolved so much but Charlie was the 'crossover' guy way back when and then came Earl.

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    if the capricho arabe performd by bream and de lucia are representative (both on youtube) it wont be much of a comparison.
    I couldn't find any examples of Paco de Lucia playing Capricho Arabe on YouTube.

    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    He (Paco de Lucia) also is a fine improvisor and holds his own with McLaughlin, Dimeola and Corea.
    Chick Corea doesn't fit this equation, because he isn't known for his guitar playing skills. Try putting the rest of the names in a different order. Error 404

  13. #112

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    Towner is wonderful. Great sound and concept, albeit in the "ECM" jazz mode, rather than the tired old swing style.

  14. #113

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    Regarding classical players, I'm a big Julian Bream fan. If you haven't watched the BBC TV series Guitarra, then I recommend you try to find it. It's informative and well worth watching.

    I'm not so keen on some of these thread titles though. There seem to be quite a few threads using the abbreviation 'vs'. This verses that etc...
    Last edited by czardas; 05-21-2011 at 04:16 PM.

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Paco de Lucia has a ravishing sound, as beautiful as any classical player. His version of the Concierto de Aranjuez lacks nothing tonally, and in many respects, certainly rhythmically, is far more faithful to the score and the intent of the music than most classical players. He also is a fine improvisor and holds his own with McLaughlin, Dimeola and Corea.
    ok. i've listened to Paco back to back with Bream.

    Paco's rhythmic treatment was indeed refreshingly different and he played certain passages with his trademark speed. those characteristics were noteworthy relative to most classical performances. i'm sure that he angled his right hand more than usual to get the classical tone as well.

    the Bream recording was older and not as well balanced. (the orchestra blasted piercingly out of my reference speakers so i didn't dare turn it up any more). despite those limitations Bream's tone, and variation of tone were clearly superior. his articulation was clearer and his dynamic expressiveness was sophisticated, thoughtful, and intricate. (a spruce top guitar can help with that but...). his use of vibrato certainly stuck out relative to the flamenco master's.

    yes Paco's version was nice, but in truth there really isn't much comparison.

    love to hear him do his own stuff and jam with Johnny Mac though.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 05-22-2011 at 02:33 PM.

  16. #115

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    You're right, there isn't much comparison. Bream plays this very Spanish piece as an Englishman, and Paco as a Spaniard.

  17. #116

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    there's some truth to that. but its classical, and evocative of flamenco - not flamenco. i suppose i could next compare it to Pepe's version but there's no point. Paco is simply not a classsical guitarist.

    flamenco is a rustic folk music. but you know all that. you Paco fans are stubbornly loyal. thats good.

  18. #117

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    my favorite musicians that combine jazz and nylon string techniques are probably Bola Sete (the live at newport is awesome) and Baden Powell. Villa Lobos was supposed to be an amazing improviser, too. Also Al Di Meola put out that album where he played Piazolla with a percussion player on nylon strings, though I think he used a pick. So did Sharon Isbin, though I don't know if she improvised on it. But who cares? It sounds great. And Nino Josele made that album about Bill Evans and Tomatito did that Spain album.








    If I remember Paco talking, he said that he learned how to improvise 'jazz' stuff from Al and John pretty much when they started playing. I don't know if that's true though. A lot of that stuff flamencos play, in my understanding is stuff they composed beforehand.

    I've tried to improvise over bulerias and to reharmonize them with jazz chords like some of those piano players but let's just say it's a work in progress.

    Anyways I like learning everything cause you never know when that albanico on timbales might come in handy at your next solo guitar gig. I guess that means trying to learn both classical and jazz and flamenco, though I don't many people can play like John Williams, Paco and Wes haha

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW400
    Ralph Towner is excellent. He is highly regarded and has the respect of LOTS of players. ( I think Larry Coryell calls him the best around)
    +1 on that... Ralph Towner is a terrific player and composer! I've admired him for years. I think there's some truth to what you say about playing original vs. standard compositions. There is so much variety in his output that he can't be pigeonholed, which some people prefer, I guess. Bridging jazz, classical, "world" and some uncategorizable elements mixed in different proportions, with real creativity.

    Anyone looking for a more purely "jazzy" piece of his could start with The Prowler.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    flamenco is a rustic folk music. but you know all that. you Paco fans are stubbornly loyal. thats good.
    And jazz is so sophisticated by comparison. Funny thing is that I see it as being the other way round.

    You ask a question "What is flamenco?". Scholars have been trying to figure that one out for the best part of 100 years. Your definition, 'rustic folk music', shows complete ignorance of something which on the highest level is an extremely difficult and technically complicated art form. Some of this thread is tediously boring, like an endless stream of meaningless impro going nowhere. Really clever!

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    flamenco is a rustic folk music. but you know all that .
    Beware of things everyone knows, they're often wrong. Flamenco as 'a rustic folk music' is mostly a myth, especially the 'rustic' part. Flamenco is as rustic as the blues or, come to that, jazz, which is to say, not very. You've been sold the Hollywood, gypsies-around-the-campfire picture.

  22. #121

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    There is just no comparison. Flamenco simply rocks! Despite it's rustic reputation, it's just so awesome!


  23. #122

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    I don' get your points fumblefinger.

    Many classical music has its origin in folk music as well and won't get past it very much. Of course you cannot compare Flamenco to Mozart but why should I?
    It is dance, guitar and song music and the guitar part has as much richness as for examply lute music from the Renaissance. Modern flamencas imrpovise while playing and compose their own pieces. Andres Batista was professor for classical AND flamenco guitar in Madrid, he played both and composed in both styles.

    If it comes to classical guitar, you cannot ignore flamenco. And even if an orchestra play Manuel de Falla or Albeniz, they simply play Flamenco the classical way.

  24. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by czardas
    There is just no comparison. Flamenco simply rocks! Despite it's rustic reputation, it's just so awesome!

    thanks for the post. very nice playing there.

    you point out that it "rocks". yeah man. far be it for me to disagree. and of course like rock and jazz the variation is found largely in the soloist's work, as opposed to the compositional form. form wise it’s mostly the same thing repeated over and over and over.

  25. #124

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    This is still on the flamenco theme, if anyone isn't interested don't read.

    @fumblefingers

    I disagree with your definition of flamenco as a "rustic folk music" because:
    - 'Rustic' means 'Having a simplicity and charm that is considered typical of the countryside,' i.e. rural + charming. Andalusia is not rural and for the 18th/19th/20th century poor it wasn't charming, either. I say it is not rural because, although it has an awful lot of countryside, few people live there - it is one of the region's characteristics that it has practically no villages, it has some towns and a lot of cities but almost no rural populations. Life in Andalusia is and was urban. And the temples of flamenco, Seville, Jerez, etc. are not just cities, they're big ones.
    - In many ways, flamenco isn't really a folk music, though it has some folk characteristics, the lack of notation, the mouth-to-mouth transmission, etc. But flamenco developed as music for performance, for the stage, rather than as music that gypsies played for each other. It is as much art music as folk music, or more, and always was.

    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    a lot of them lived outside the borders of towns, and in the country.
    I don't know where you've got that from, but it isn't in the blog post you quote.

    occupatons ranged from blacksmithing to begging? see rustic.
    There's nothing rural or charming about either blacksmithing or begging. On the contrary, blacksmithing is a kind of industrial activity, and it would be a pretty dim beggar who did his day's work in the middle of the empty countryside.

    For the cultured classes of Spain, until recently flamenco was nothing more than a “thing of the lower classes”; of taverns, violence, riotousness, drunkenness, and in the past, of beggars, thieves, bandits and gypsies.
    This is an overstatement. The consumers of flamenco, those who pay to hear it, have always been the relatively well-off. Yes, it had connotations of the sinful and forbidden, which was precisely one of its attractions for the repressed Spanish Catholic middle classes.
    It was not until 1922 that a group of intellectuals (which included the composer Manuel de Falla and the young poet Federico García Lorca) organised a “concurso the cante jondo”. The first time that the intellectuals of Andalucia acted as a group to study, understand and for want of a better word, protect flamenco.
    Yes, but... The concurso was not organized because "famenco had almost completely been forgotten," but because it had become too popular. It had spread outside Andalusia and become fashionable in Madrid and Barcelona, and people like Falla and Lorca felt it was becoming commercial, debased - any old rubbish was being presented as flamenco. They were, frankly, intellectual snobs, though what they did was very important.

    the andalucian population was unable to make use of such terrain – it was nearly always under armed guard.
    Therefore, they had to live in the cities.

    These abandoned people nurtured what is known today as flamenco – an oral history of their lives and concerns; from the prisons, forges, mines, charity hospitals, and the gypsy “barrios”; from a people terrorised by poverty, superstitions and ignorance comes flamenco.
    'Barrio' means a district or quarter of a city. You don't have barrios in villages.
    Flamenco has gone through a metamorphosis? or perhaps renaissance? and that (partially) enables the arguments here.
    Now you're really mixing things up. Falla et al and their successors did a fine job of conservation, preserving the traditional before it was lost. The metamorphoses it underwent later, especially in the second half of the twentieth century, were due to record producers or artists themselves trying to make flamenco accessible to a broader public, almost the contrary of the intentions of the Concurso de cante jondo.
    Last edited by JohnRoss; 05-30-2011 at 08:06 AM.

  26. #125

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    Here's my take on it: 123flamenco.com History

  27. #126

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    check out dusan bogdanovic

  28. #127
    I almost don't know what the thread here is anymore. So I will throw in my 2 cents on the Classical/Flamenco/Jazz guitar idea.

    I taught myself how to play from age 8-18. I went to school and studied classical guitar [that I now have taught at a Major University for over 35 years]. I say this just to show I have earned the right to have an opinion.

    From the beginning I listened to Country, Folk, Rock, Jazz and Classical. Through it all what held my attention was the guy playing solo guitar and keeping everything going. That had a great appeal to a kid growing up on a farm with no bands to fit into.

    My listening cycled this way; The Beatles [mostly George and Paul], Chet Atkins, Jose Feliciano, Mason Williams, David Crosby, Julian Bream, James Taylor, Lenny Breau, Andres Segovia [a bit of backpedaling], John Williams, a little Wes Montgomery, Ralph Towner, lots and lots of Ralph Towner, Pepe Romero, Gerardo Nunez, Tommy Emmanuel...

    Always drawn to the finger style playing regardless of musical genre. The solo artist.

    I simply don't care what music they play if it can speak to the Human struggle with just the sound of the guitar. This is my tribe.

    I would say to all here, "Please don't fight as to which music/player is sophisticated or rustic. Who 'rocks' and who doesn't. Listen to what moves you and steal from the Best!".

  29. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhivago
    Sorry if someone mentioned it already, I haven't read all the posts yet (but I will).

    The thing is that Adam Rogers, amazing jazz guitarist, plays with Chris Potter, Brian Blade, and all the great jazzers from nowadays, well, he did 4 or 5 years of classic guitar. Check out the album line by line by John Pattitucci. He plays some kinda classical stuff in there, his technique is amazing btw.
    I just downloaded that album line by line. I'm going to check it out, sounds like that guitar player might play like pasquale grasso with that classical background!


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  30. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack_gvr
    Not a question of "belief", which cuts no ice, but of "knowing"

    It's not an issue provided you spend the necessary time practicing the techniques that you will actually use in improvising. (Speaking about the right hand specifically here but in general this applies to everything.)


    What constitutes an "awkward passage" for the right hand? There are, after all, only six strings and five fingers, so how many combinations can there be? An "awkward passage", by me, is anything where you have to do right-hand cross-fingerings. My daily scale practice includes not only the several combinations of two fingers recommended by Segovia in his book of beginner scales, but also combos of three and four fingers: i-m-a, a-m-i, c-a-m-i, i-m-a-c, and more rarely c-a-m and m-a-c. I use these not only for scales but for seventh-chord extension arpeggio patterns: (which I combine freely with scales in improv)

    Code:
    ----------------4-5-4------------------------------
    --------------5-------5----------------------------
    ------------6-----------6--------------------------
    --------6-7---------------7-6----------------------
    ----4-7-----------------------7-4------------------
    --5--------------------------------5---------------
    This pretty much covers cross-fingerings. I actually avoid cross-fingerings in practice by the technic described in the next para, but they don't hang me up when I do use them.

    "i-m", obviously, is the strongest and fastest combo for straight scales, cross-fingerings not being an obstacle there. The trick with more complex passages is to learn to intelligently interpolate the "a" and "c" fingers (as well as the thumb) to facilitate string crossings. There is a simple logic to this, hard to describe, and as difficult to train as anything else, but once you have it going it works, and I don't think about it while I'm playing any more. The "a" and "c" fingers advance toward the higher pitched strings, the "i" finger and thumb reach toward the lower pitched strings, and then the "i-m" combo picks up again until the next "awkwardness". I don't think that this is in principle much more difficult than training crosspicking and sweep picking with a flatpick.

    For instance, in an ascending scale passage, I may reach ahead to each new (higher) string with the "a" finger, otherwise proceeding with "i-m". Descending, I will play the last note on a string with "a", then reach down to the next string with either "i" or "m". When I reach up across several strings I lead with "c". When there are two notes on a string ascending, the last one is played with "i". When there are two notes on a string descending, the last one is played with "a" or "c". Planning is minimized in favor of simple operating rules. (I do most of this with rest-stroke, which maintains a more secure connection of my fingers to the strings so I don't lose the position.)
    I have learned to do this as a matter of course and don't think about it, but I admit that it has been a very difficult technic to teach.


    I have never been an advocate or user of the thumb-index combo for scale passages, which many guitarist swear by. The tone is - in my opinion of course - lousy compared to reststrokes with the fingers. (On an electric this tone difference doesn't sound as bad, but on un-amplified nylon strings the difference is huge. ) I use the thumb for the low note of arpeggios, for bass note runs which usually include slurs (ie, hammer-ons & pull-offs in classical-speak), for banjo-style rolls, and for bass lines generally.



    Right, well, I don't swing, I still sound like a classical player. The up and down motion of the pick, and the similar effect of thumb/index, facilitate swing where my techniques don't. Touche'.
    Yeah you didn't mention the p=thumb in the combo for practice?

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  31. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    umm hmm.

    i was surprised by his biographical DVD that came out a few years ago near his retirement. he points out that his original inspiration was Django - and jazz! Then he heard Segovia and decided what he really wanted to do. he could play Nuages i believe it was, and in fact is shown bending strings while playing it and otherwise jamming with his friends in a decades old TV show filmed from his apartment after hours. grooovy baby!

    he played an archtop in an army jazz/stage band while in the service after discovering that soldiering was not his cup of tea (almost cut his hand with his bayonette and started crying like a baby).

    he also recounts a story where S. Grappelli asked him to play a solo on a tune in a jazz club. Bream worked up a memorized solo - one chorus. it sounded so good on the bandtstand that Grappelli signaled him to play another. he said he wanted to kill Grapelli because he didn't have another worked up.

    and like fellow Brits George Harrison and John McLaughlin, he also became enamored with Indian classical music in the groovy 60s (or 70s, can't remember). the film shows him jamming with a solid sitar playing man or whatever. He said his thinking at the time was (paraphrasing) "why not just go off and improvise and play whatever I want, and be free". etc. thankfully for us of course, that didn't happen.
    It's not a sitar those are upright like the double bass. The instrument is called a Saroud

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  32. #131

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    Dunno if that got mentioned here already. Legato is a big thing in classical and needs a lot of time to get the technique good enough. When I jumped to jazz, first thing I noticed its considered "lazy" or a "shortcut".. That was strange. In classical, legato is used to make phrases sound more fluid. They are marked everywhere in the scores... I couldn't understand why jazzers had to play at "100% velocity" all times.

  33. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilio
    As a classical player, too, as well as jazz, I'll give my "Amen". But, can I at least have my jazz "charts" and my "Real Book" handy?

    I've found that studying different styles has improved all of them, to one degree or another. An interesting fact: when you study/play different styles, many times, you're also playing on different instruments. This can also be beneficial, in that you will have less tendency to rely on "muscle-memory", and will have to "learn" the fretboard, scales, chords, and so on. A classical neck just ain't the same as my Les Paul 50's neck, which is different than my es-335, which is not the same as a Fender neck....you get the idea. You'll have to mentally "slow-down" enough to adjust to your instrument, music style, and playing style (pick or fingers).
    All that being said, adding other styles to your study will help you a lot.
    It seems to me that since there's improvisation in jazz you have to know a lot more theory than in classical where, unless your composing, all you need to do is be able to read and have good technique.

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  34. #133

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    all you need to do is be able to read and have good technique.
    then I'll use a machine...

    But unfortunately you are right... modern educational system turned many classical players in meaningless reading machines.

  35. #134

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017
    It seems to me that since there's improvisation in jazz you have to know a lot more theory than in classical where, unless your composing, all you need to do is be able to read and have good technique.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    There are some great Julian Bream BBC masterclass clips (they may be on YouTube somewhere) where the student first plays the piece flawlessly with great technique, and I’m thinking, wow, wish I could play that piece as well as that. Then Bream takes over and shows how they have been paying insufficient attention to the musical possibilities in the piece, such as phrasing, dynamics, tone colour etc. He plays the first few bars with just a few subtle changes of this nature, and then the piece REALLY comes to life, to the extent that the student’s performance starts to sound mediocre by comparison.

    So a classical player needs interpretation skills too. And this can involve a lot of personal and creative choices to make when playing a piece.

  36. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    There are some great Julian Bream BBC masterclass clips (they may be on YouTube somewhere) where the student first plays the piece flawlessly with great technique, and I’m thinking, wow, wish I could play that piece as well as that. Then Bream takes over and shows how they have been paying insufficient attention to the musical possibilities in the piece, such as phrasing, dynamics, tone colour etc. He plays the first few bars with just a few subtle changes of this nature, and then the piece REALLY comes to life, to the extent that the student’s performance starts to sound mediocre by comparison.

    So a classical player needs interpretation skills too. And this can involve a lot of personal and creative choices to make when playing a piece.
    Julian Bream is a genius!

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  37. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stewart
    I have studied with Ralph Towner. In my opinion (I will not say humble opinion as that editorial should be one ascribed to me -or not- by others), Ralph is a rare and unique example of what is best in combining Jazz and Classical. Yet I never see him given his due in this thread.

    Why is that? Am I that out of touch with what this thread (Classical vs. Jazz) is supposed to be about?

    Just asking...

    Best to All!
    I always feel obliged to contribute to threads when Ralph is mentioned. You are indeed fortunate to have studied with him. He is, in my opinion, a modern day musical genius. Historically, musical ‘labels’ such as ‘classical’ and ‘jazz’ were largely used to assist in categorising music for radio audiences and I have often wondered whether having these rigid tram lines hinder musicality.

    Surely there are just two types of music, good and bad. If classical guitarists weren’t hemmed in by the expectation that they cannot improvise then maybe we would see more players like Ralph Towner who cross the divide and just play wonderful music. I bet Ralph never sat down and put himself firmly into one category or another.

    Incidentally, I play both classical and jazz although I’d prefer to say I just play. Hopefully it is good!

  38. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by CP40Carl
    I always feel obliged to contribute to threads when Ralph is mentioned. You are indeed fortunate to have studied with him. He is, in my opinion, a modern day musical genius. Historically, musical ‘labels’ such as ‘classical’ and ‘jazz’ were largely used to assist in categorising music for radio audiences and I have often wondered whether having these rigid tram lines hinder musicality.

    Surely there are just two types of music, good and bad. If classical guitarists weren’t hemmed in by the expectation that they cannot improvise then maybe we would see more players like Ralph Towner who cross the divide and just play wonderful music. I bet Ralph never sat down and put himself firmly into one category or another.

    Incidentally, I play both classical and jazz although I’d prefer to say I just play. Hopefully it is good!
    They do affect musicality! The greats like Mingus and Zappa just said they play music. It's all music man. People need to get more eclectic and mix and mash all the styles together. Phish and King Crimson do a good job of that. As does Henry Cow.

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  39. #138

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    Oh and your right about Towner. He's a monster! I've been listening to Clifford Brown with Max Roach, Curtis Mayfield, and Rush lately. Mixed in with a little Stravinsky and Bach to fuse an interesting gumbo. Now that's a mix and mash of styles!

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  40. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilio
    As a classical player, too, as well as jazz, I'll give my "Amen". But, can I at least have my jazz "charts" and my "Real Book" handy?

    I've found that studying different styles has improved all of them, to one degree or another. An interesting fact: when you study/play different styles, many times, you're also playing on different instruments. This can also be beneficial, in that you will have less tendency to rely on "muscle-memory", and will have to "learn" the fretboard, scales, chords, and so on. A classical neck just ain't the same as my Les Paul 50's neck, which is different than my es-335, which is not the same as a Fender neck....you get the idea. You'll have to mentally "slow-down" enough to adjust to your instrument, music style, and playing style (pick or fingers).
    All that being said, adding other styles to your study will help you a lot.
    What's interesting about playing a classical piece is interpretation. That's the modern day classical players improvisation. Now Bach was one hell of an improviser! So was Frank Zappa on the guitar. Instant Composition!

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  41. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017
    Oh and your right about Towner. He's a monster! I've been listening to Clifford Brown with Max Roach, Curtis Mayfield, and Rush lately. Mixed in with a little Stravinsky and Bach to fuse an interesting gumbo. Now that's a mix and mash of styles!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Here’s to variety. I’m currently working on a Brouwer sonata and my friend is getting me tickets to see Slayer on their final tour - I’m a little bit anxious about the Slayer thing though but will try to keep an open mind. Bill Frisell and Pat Metheney are perhaps more my thing on the electric guitar!

  42. #141

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    When listening to KoKo, lets say by fats Navarro, to hear the chord changes do you listen to the piano or are they implied? Cause there's no guitar but the pianos gotta be playing the chords right? I know if there's no instrument in the ensemble with harmonic possibilities the chords are definitely implied then right?

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  43. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017
    When listening to KoKo, lets say by fats Navarro, to hear the chord changes do you listen to the piano or are they implied? Cause there's no guitar but the pianos gotta be playing the chords right? I know if there's no instrument in the ensemble with harmonic possibilities the chords are definitely implied then right?

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    I think it depends on the music. If there's a piano and bass, then I'll use both to figure out the changes.

    If there's no harmonic instrument, then really you have to combine the bass line with what you think are the important chord tones in the soloist's lines, to work it out.

    Also depends on the style, if it's a 'standard' type tune and you are familiar with a lot of those tunes, after a while you can sort of guess what many of the changes are because they all ultimately use similar harmonic moves (such as 2-5-1 etc).

    On the other hand if it's a Wayne Shorter or ECM-type thing, it may be more difficult to pin down.

  44. #143

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    By the way if you're trying to figure out KoKo (i.e. by Charlie Parker), it is the same chords as 'Cherokee', apart from the introduction (I don't know if Navarro includes the intro, I don't know his version). In fact Parker's KoKo isn't really a 'tune' as such, just a fast 'composed' intro, then he goes straight into his solo. The intro has no piano and no chord changes really, it's on an implied Bb pedal as I recall.

    (There is also a completely different tune by Duke Ellington called Koko, I assume you didn't mean that.)

  45. #144

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    What I've enjoyed most about classical style guitar is composing tunes in the classical style. Nowadays, other than my own tunes I'm not that interested in playing classical guitar. Well not quite, if the material is easy enough to site read I enjoy playing classical pieces. Grinding away learning a difficult classical piece is just not for me. I find it an unrewarding use of my time... too much time spent on a single tune.

  46. #145

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    Very old thread but I just found it now, let me in, and let me share my experiences about this. I have been visiting classical music school and learnt flute about 6 years long, saxophone for a half year, or so, classical piano, and jazz guitar in conservatory (3 years long), now I am learning in college (jazz guitar also). And I am teaching classical because where I live jazz is unfortunately not so common but classical is, so all we have to do is teach classical with no classical guitar background. And that is a pain in the ass... In my view in official school we all should leran classical for about 4-5 years long, and then change to jazz (whoever wants). It is a must to get that classical background in this instrument because of the sight reading. I am a pick player so right hand technique is not a problem in this case but the sight reading is...

  47. #146

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblues
    Very old thread but I just found it now, let me in, and let me share my experiences about this. I have been visiting classical music school and learnt flute about 6 years long, saxophone for a half year, or so, classical piano, and jazz guitar in conservatory (3 years long), now I am learning in college (jazz guitar also). And I am teaching classical because where I live jazz is unfortunately not so common but classical is, so all we have to do is teach classical with no classical guitar background. And that is a pain in the ass... In my view in official school we all should leran classical for about 4-5 years long, and then change to jazz (whoever wants). It is a must to get that classical background in this instrument because of the sight reading. I am a pick player so right hand technique is not a problem in this case but the sight reading is...
    If you're a pick player does the whole classical fingering technique give you trouble? And do you teach your kids to use nails?

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  48. #147

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    At the beginner levels it doesnt give me trouble. But when I try to sight read a Bach piece, which consist of 3-4 voices, that gives me trouble, yes. I have a very good friend, who is classical guitarist, and he is showing me things, so I am trying my best but the jazz college is the first now. I teach the kids to use their fingertips instead of nails.

  49. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblues
    At the beginner levels it doesnt give me trouble. But when I try to sight read a Bach piece, which consist of 3-4 voices, that gives me trouble, yes. I have a very good friend, who is classical guitarist, and he is showing me things, so I am trying my best but the jazz college is the first now. I teach the kids to use their fingertips instead of nails.
    You know if they ever want to go to a major conservatory for classical guitar they will fail there audition if they don't use nails!

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  50. #149

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    Hello, thought this might help you.

    ive played a lot of Bach on classical guitar, for whatever reason, it seems to favor beginning on the M plucking finger, alternating with I. Starting on I, ime, doesn’t work out as nicely.

    hope that helps

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    There are some great Julian Bream BBC masterclass clips (they may be on YouTube somewhere) where the student first plays the piece flawlessly with great technique, and I’m thinking, wow, wish I could play that piece as well as that. Then Bream takes over and shows how they have been paying insufficient attention to the musical possibilities in the piece, such as phrasing, dynamics, tone colour etc. He plays the first few bars with just a few subtle changes of this nature, and then the piece REALLY comes to life, to the extent that the student’s performance starts to sound mediocre by comparison.

    So a classical player needs interpretation skills too. And this can involve a lot of personal and creative choices to make when playing a piece.
    A few years ago, my teacher asked me to help Oscar Ghiglia, a longtime good friend of his, with an unrelated non musical matter, which I did. I eventually got to meet Oscar, and heard him give a master class to Northwestern University graduate students ( The woman who heads the guitar department at Northwestern school of music is a former student of Oscar’s, and always has him come and perform every year). I mean, these graduate students were serious players of course, but the advice Oscar imparted on their interpretive skills was HUGE. You could hear the differences almost immediately, even a schlump like me noticed.

    For those that do not know, Oscar was Segovia‘s most famous student, studying with the maestro for 10 years. I found him to be a very nice, down to earth guy with a very quick wit and an articulate, very cultured point of view.

    I was thinking about the relationship between Jazz and classical players. I remember this conversation I had with my old teacher; he recounted in an interview with Studs Terkel in 1968 that becoming a professional classical Player after already being a professional jazz musician helped keep him sane , Because the sad reality is, being a professional jazz musician meant playing your heart out in a a bar or a club in which most people are talking over you, don’t really give a shit, and are more concerned with getting drunk and barely noticing the music at all. The much more respected classical venues at least meant people were paying attention to the music. .

    He had this great story, he was playing electric guitar with the singer Peggy Lee in her band at a small jazz club in Chicago. Before anyone else would arrive, he would show up early and bring his classical guitar to keep his chops up-to-date and practice the classical repertoire in a room away from everybody else. One day when he was doing this, as he finished, he heard a noise and looked behind. It was Peggy Lee, and she had heard the entire practice repertoire and was in tears and demanded that he perform a solo classical set before hrr Jazz group played. He happily complied and did double duty .

    This double duty kind of created this attitude in which his fellow musicians saw all that green grass over there. Oscar for example, was always wowed by his Jazz playing, and conversely, every time Joe Pass would come into town, he would always demand that he played classical guitar for him. After he would finish, Joe would always say something like, “Man, what do you play is real art and when I play is bullshit “. Talk about being humble and self deprecating. Wow.

    By the way, Bream asked him to play jazz with him in a duet setting . It did not go well at all, he felt Bream was stuck in the 1930s and was downright brutal with the guitar . That is actually not a surprise conclusion for anyone who has watched Bream’s DVD documentary of his life, when he subbed for a jazz big band for a Fiver in London. The big bandleader thanked him for his service and said if he showed up tomorrow, he would give him a rhythm guitar lesson

    Thank God he had his day job !

    The other thing I want to say about the relationship between jazz and classical is another story my teacher said about long ongoing conversations he had with Jimmy Weible decades ago. Jimmy was developing his ideas about two line counterpoint on an improvised basis , and my teacher convinced him the in order to develop these ideas more fully, he needed to develop his right hand in a more systematic way by taking formal classical guitar lessons. Finally Jimmy agreed, and my teacher flew out to LA to help him get a very nice guitar with one of the famous Spanish guitar makers he knew. I believe the Jimmy actually studied classical with the Brazilian guy who played with the modern jazz quartet among others and lived in United States for many years . Not Baden Powell or Luis Bonfa, I can never remember his name.

    The point is, Jimmy studied classical guitar not to perform classical music, but to develop his technical skills in order to musically develop his jazz improv two line improv ideas better.